Bilingual Lexicographer

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Bilingual Lexicographers are the people who write, compile, and edit dictionaries. They work on the following types of dictionaries given below:
  • English for resident speakers
  • English for the apprentices of English
  • Bilingual, for resident speakers or apprentices of English
  • Technical

Description of the job

Bilingual lexicographers alter, proofread as well as verify the accuracy of the text of their own and others and carry out editorial tasks. They reassess the existing entries and make use of the judgment and evidence to consider and identify potential new entries. The bilingual lexicographers translate the expressions and words, rather than describing them.

The usual work activities of a bilingual lexicographer consist of:

•    Translating expressions and words in both the directions (e.g. from French to English and English to French)

•    Discussing and solving challenging translations with resident-speaking editors.

•    Writing cultural or grammatical supplements integrated in some of the editions of the translation dictionaries.

•    Creating 'help pages' to comprise labels and pictures for e.g. to list the components of a PC.

•    Carrying out market studies with students, teachers and book retailers.

Entry requirements

Although lexicography can be accessed by all graduates, having the knowledge of following subjects may raise the prospects:

•    Modern languages

•    English

•    Politics/ history

•    Linguistics

•    Classics

A foreign, classical language or linguistics can increase the employment chances of a person as a “bilingual lexicographer”. A degree of masters in linguistics, translation or language may be beneficial for aspirant bilingual lexicographers. The experience and qualification of TEFL or (teaching English as a foreign language) is a possible requirement for the titles of English teaching. The experience of checking text and proofreading will also be beneficial. This can be verified through a prior involvement in editing or writing for a university tabloid or a publishing work experience.

Career development

The typical entry level job is as an assistant editor and a fairly more junior post of an editorial assistant. The workload mainly involves regularly working on dictionary entries. Depending on the experience and ability, responsibility for some small projects can also be given.

With the gain in experience, one is likely to be a bilingual lexicographer or editor. At this point, most of the time is still spent on the dictionary entries, but additionally also working on how the heading is composed, possibly with task to organize a project, manage a group of freelancers, and networking between printing and marketing staff to design the book and then sell it.

Some people may also advance to the posts of managing editor or senior editor. At this stage, most work involves deciding and considering the methodology for potential future projects.

One can also make a career into the larger publishing industry. Some bilingual lexicographers also initiate giving training in this field.


•    The usual starting salaries of an assistant editor $29,500 – $34,300 and $32,700 – $40,900 for an editor.

•    The usual salaries of experienced senior editor level posts are $31,900 - $57,300 and more than $73,700 for project manager.

Thus, making a career as a bilingual lexicographer can be very beneficial for a person.
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Popular tags:

 responsibility  languages  managers  bilingual  dictionary  qualifications  evidence  work experience

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